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INTRODUCTION: Higher and lower-middle income countries are increasingly affected by obesity. Obesity-related diseases are placing a substantial health and economic burden on Brazil. Our aim is to measure the future consequences of these trends on the associated disease burden and health care costs. METHOD: A previously developed micro-simulation model is used to project the extent of obesity, obesity-related diseases and associated healthcare costs to 2050. In total, thirteen diseases were considered: coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and eight cancers. We simulated three hypothetical intervention scenarios: no intervention, 1% and 5% reduction in body mass index (BMI). RESULTS: In 2010, nearly 57% of the Brazilian male population was overweight or obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m(2)), but the model projects rates as high as 95% by 2050. A slightly less pessimistic picture is predicted for females, increasing from 43% in 2010 to 52% in 2050. Coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, cancers, osteoarthritis and diabetes prevalence cases are projected to at least double by 2050, reaching nearly 34,000 cases of hypertension by 2050 (per 100,000). 1% and 5% reduction in mean BMI will save over 800 prevalence cases and nearly 3,000 cases of hypertension by 2050 respectively (per 100,000). The health care costs will double from 2010 ($5.8 billion) in 2050 alone ($10.1 billion). Over 40 years costs will reach $330 billion. However, with effective interventions the costs can be reduced to $302 billion by 1% and to $273 billion by 5% reduction in mean BMI across the population. CONCLUSION: Obesity rates are rapidly increasing creating a high burden of disease and associated costs. However, an effective intervention to decrease obesity by just 1% will substantially reduce obesity burden and will have a significant effect on health care expenditure.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0068785

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2013

Volume

8

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Body Mass Index, Brazil, Female, Health Care Costs, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity, Overweight, Young Adult